Since the United States began launching satellites and unmanned spacecraft outside of Earth’s atmosphere, national security has driven pioneering technologies. On June 13, 2017, the President authorized the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III authority to address critical industrial base shortfalls related to the space industrial base.
The specific areas of concern that prompted the use of the DPA authority include aerospace structures and fibers, radiation-hardened microelectronics, radiation test and qualification facilities, and satellite components and assemblies, all of which are critical to the government’s national security space programs.
DPA Title III shortfall mitigation related to aerospace structures and fibers, and satellite components and assemblies, will reduce the risks facing domestic manufacturers. Companies in this sector create incredibly vital technologies, yet often struggle due to their reliance on low production rates from government space programs. The radiation-hardened microelectronics and radiation test and qualification facilities projects aim to increase the performance of increasingly critical microelectronics, and help keep the supply chain domestic and secure. The effort to upgrade and sustain radiation test facilities fulfill a government necessity, since without the proposed improvements to the test infrastructure, the Department of Defense would be significantly under capacity for testing critical defense components. These investments in domestic manufacturing may spur innovation by leveraging existing private sector investment in our domestic aerospace industry.
This Presidential Determination is an important achievement for the defense industrial base, given the pivotal role of space in national security and in science and technology. Now that these shortfalls have been identified, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy will be able to address existing and future shortfalls through continuously monitoring American industry, and ensuring that challenges to defense production and manufacturing are met for the security of the nation.
To learn more about DPA Title III, please visit the DPA Title III page.
Please see the official White House memorandum for more information.